Stealth Artists and Boss Moves


Like so many others, I got seduced into buying Beyonce’s new album, Beyonce: The Visual Album, and have been giving it a thorough listen and watch (it includes 14 audios and 17 videos) this past snowy weekend. It’s a solid R&B effort and has some catchy tunes (my favorite tracks – “Blow,” “Haunted,” “Jealous,” “Rocket” and “Drunk in Love,” even if the latter track includes some abusive lyrics about being “Ike Turner” courtesy of Beyonce’s other half) but hardly revelatory or revolutionary in its musical production.

Folks are just salivating over this effort because of its “stealth” marketing move – when every other pop artist has been following the record-label-version of marketing (i.e. putting out a few singles since consumers no longer bother with full albums thanks to Internet and file-sharing).  I admire Beyonce for refusing to follow this traditional strategy and, instead, just “drops” an album via social media and subsequently getting her fans amped up! Folks are still dizzy in a tailspin!

I admire Beyonce’s stealth boss moves in determining how and when music consumers will consume her product, but I must say: I’m not as bowled over or stunned by such moves.

Could it be because for the past five years, I’ve been following an artist who is the King of stealthy “boss” moves?  If David were on Beyonce’s stratospheric level, I could so totally see him doing something like this and subsequently getting his fans amped up and riled and googly-eyed and awed.  It’s because I’ve gotten so used to following an artist who puts out various little pleasantries and such on Twitter and YouTube, and then just drops “surprise bombs” on us why Beyonce doesn’t surprise me in the least. Think of what we’ve been through as a fanbase:

“What?!! Another Christmas concert? I’m so there!!”

“Noooooo! He’s leaving on a mission! How will I survive his two-year absence!!!”

“OMG! He gave us not one, not two, but THREE surprise albums before leaving for said mission! David does the most!”

It’s because David has always been about his music and image-management, and keeping it securely on lockdown (despite the VRS that often try to leak his trade secrets) that I keep holding onto the faith that he’ll find his way to the top.  He’s very much like Beyonce (an artist David has admired in the past) in the way he engages and disengages with both social media and his fans.

If anything, Beyonce has forced the issue of record labels finding ways to rethink their strategies. She’s definitely got the iconic status and fanbase to try such a stealth move, but I’m very grateful that she tried something so stealth, so “boss,” that folks think she’s shifted the game in the music industry.

Any shifting is only sure to better position the players in the game. And right on time for David’s return next year! 🙂

I can’t help but feel optimistic that there is a place for “stealth” artists like David.


Posted on December 17, 2013, in current trends. Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. on the money hg on the money,thanks for all the postive articals , ps this should bring out the comments lol

  2. Great article HG!!!

    Here’s a follow-up article I saw on the Comcast news feed. Target seems mad as hell they did not get first dibs. Especially telling are her comments about fans.

  3. Great post Hg…yes that does make me optimistic too that there will be a place for ‘stealth’ artists like David.

    Joymus, I read that article and what she had to say in regards to her fans was exactly what I would think David would say.

    David’s return to his music career is sounding pretty good right now, loving it, lol.

  4. CQ – ITA. I only wish I were more a fan of her music. She is a good singer and an even better performer – but her voice and music does nothing for me personally. More power to her though because record companies seem to do everything to obstruct artists according to their timing of how things should go. I have never forgotten Jive for trying to stifle David.

  5. I am not a big fan of Beyonce but she and Jay Z do not need me as a fan. Together they are worth mega millions. They are a true power couple in the music industry and can do pretty much whatever they want to. Money does mean power. I agree with you hg in your post regarding David. Watching the voice finale and really hope Tessanne wins but just not as into the show this year. I miss Usher as a judge and Christina is starting to annoy me again. lol. She talks too much. To be honest as awful as the X Factor show can be- I am more interesting in the top 3 of X Factor this year.

  6. Not really into Beyonce, not that she needs my support but I do admire her for going aginst the grain so to speak and doing it “her way.” David has always been a do it his way kind of guy, hope he can combine that with a good team that will give him that freedom!

  7. One of these days I will figure out how to get rid of my old screen name for good.

  8. Oh man some problems going on with FOD site, hope they can fix it soon. I don’t comment there much anymore, but still love to go and read all posts and comments.

  9. Yes! Tessanne Chin wins The Voice!

  10. Glad that she won. Well deserved. She is so very talented.

  11. I’m in heaven listening to all these wonderful videos from Chile, but what I’m over the moon excited is about David getting up there on stage and letting loose, lol. Just so everyone knows I’m very grateful for these gems and totally understand the occasion and songs warrant the seriousness. I also am sure that we will get ballads from David that will reduce all of us to a puddle of tears, lol. Ok probably what will reduce us fans to a puddle of tears right after he gets back…………………..will be his first VLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, lol.

  12. “It’s because David has always been about his music and image-management,”

    Does someone who is always about image management release a video like that Rainbow video? Does someone who is always about his music release NMHF?

    “Could it be because for the past five years, I’ve been following an artist who is the King of stealthy ‘boss’ moves?”

    I apparently dunno what stealthy means. It was rumored for months that he was going on a mission — especially on your blog. Repeatedly. It was even rumored that he was going to make the announcement at the SLC concert. The tracklist for BEGIN. was leaked months before its release by an employee at the Deseret bookstore. We even know pretty much what he’s going to do when he gets back — thanks to MyDeadWriter. She has been tweeting for 2 years about all his “projects” in the Philippines.

    “… that I keep holding onto the faith that he’ll find his way to the top.”

    Hold on for dear life. Unless, of course, the world suddenly develops an affection for Josh Bradley and a generic pop album produced in the Philippines.

  13. This post is about Beyonce…

    I’ve not bought her album but did listen to her new single and video XO. I like XO…it’is catchy frothy pop. It’s also indistinguishable from a Selena Gomez song.

    As for the video, she’s 32 yo and riding roller coasters and wearing a Minnie Mouse bow…and going for the cheap phallic symbols.

    • Music is subjective. I like the songs on NMHF. I’m also fine with the inexpensive videos made in the Philippines. It was nice to have videos to watch to go with the songs. I guess I’m easy to please and Anon, you are not. I’d be interested to know what type of songs you think David should sing and how he should be marketed. It’s easy to criticize. All I know is that the music industry is extremely difficult to manage to get to the top even if you are talented. Also you can only make videos and do marketing that is in your budget. David needs a major label to be able to do the things you want.

  14. Video of a rehearsal that David had with the choir in Chile before his performance of O Ven, O Ven Emmanuel was posted today:

    Now THAT is a talent I believe in.

  15. Ali, I love how the video seems to erase the 8,000 or so miles between us and Chile! David was sublime and this was just rehearsal! While I loved both, I found this to have a much more personal feel then the actual performance.

  16. Dear Anon, your comments are confusing. Do you believe that David can have a successful career, and if so, what steps would you suggest he takes when he gets back.?

  17. I’m loving this latest video of the rehearsal…who does that…just comes in and just starts singing and wows everyone…our man that who, lol.

    So I’m thinking that this whole devotional was not an lds event, but he was invited to sing, which I think is so cool.

  18. i respect beyonce’s decision but will not buy her album for other reasons. target’s having big problems right now. i consider david way above beyonce!

  19. Re. Beyonce, I like her and I think she’s clever but her current sound isn’t what I want to listen too. I gotta hand it to her, I can’t think of any other artist that could have sold as many albums as her during the first week using the “no marketing” ploy.

    • Yes, you have to already be a superstar to be able to pull off her large sales without promo. Obviously there are plenty of artists that put out music without any promo and get low sales because no one knows who they are.

  20. Here is David ‘s songs in one video

  21. I apologize wrong video
    A challenge trying to copy the right one

  22. Hopefully this is the link if not I give up

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